Minority Cannabis Business Association and Merida Capital Partners Announce Winners of Inclusive Industry Accelerator
On November 19, 2019, Minority Cannabis Business Association (“MCBA”) and Merida Capital Partners (“Merida”) announced the winning recipients of investment through the Inclusive Industry ("i2") Accelerator, which will deploy $500K initially to fast-track the development of five minority-owned businesses.
MCBA and Merida launched i2 earlier this year to accelerate the development of minority-owned businesses in the cannabis and hemp industry by creating a meaningful executive mentorship program for underserved communities that could increase diversity and inclusiveness in key networks within the cannabis ecosystem and develop an infrastructure for entrepreneurs seeking capital.
“Our i2 Accelerator with Merida is a historic step towards creating a diverse, representative cannabis and hemp industry,” said MCBA President Jason Ortiz. “People of color have suffered from disproportionate enforcement of cannabis laws and have high barriers to entry and success in the hemp and cannabis industries. i2 provides companies with rigorous executive mentorship and critical resources to place them in the best possible position to successfully scale their enterprises and remove those barriers.”
“We are so proud to support these meritorious businesses and begin a sustained effort to close the inclusion gap for aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs in disadvantaged communities. The quality and number of applicants gave us confidence that this program will create incredible value for minority operators, investors and the industry at large, motivating us to significantly increase our target investment amount, so not one, but five minority-owned businesses could participate in the i2 Accelerator in this first round,” said Merida Capital Partners Managing Partner Mitch Baruchowitz. “
Along with capital investments from Merida, the three-month i2 program includes access to: MCBA-Merida executives, connections and networking opportunities; consistent, high-level mentorship and training from experts in and outside of the cannabis industry; unmatched visibility into disruptive trends, proprietary research and data; exposure to Merida’s broad team of leaders, portfolio companies and advisors; and advice on managing growth, team development, investor relations, governance and strategic planning.
Making their mark
The Inclusive Industry ("i2") Accelerator was developed and backed by Merida Capital Partners and the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) to empower and fast-track the development of sizable minority businesses in the burgeoning cannabis sector, increasing diversity and aiding in the development of innovative solutions for the fastest growing industry in the world.